Warning UK could face Christmas tree shortage this year due to Covid pandemic and Brexit

By Neil Shaw

Experts are warning the UK could see a Christmas tree shortage this year - thanks to the ongoing disruption in the supply chain.

Brexit and the pandemic have combined to leave shops, pubs and restaurants short of everything from bread, beer and fizzy drinks to meat and dairy already this year.

There have been warnings that pubs could run out of alcohol, pumpkins may not be ready for Halloween and Christmas could see shortages of everything from toys to pigs in blankets.

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Now experts say we may even have trouble getting our hands on Christmas trees.

The problems are caused by a number of factors - including a massive shortage in HGV drivers since Brexit and disruption around the world caused by the Covid pandemic.

Ben Wightman, an analyst at Christmas Tree World, said: “Brexit is looking like it might be the true Ebenezer Scrooge of Christmas, there have been rumours of a shortage of food and toys ahead of Christmas mostly due to logistical problems at borders.

“Last year, there was an issue with the mink cull in Denmark meaning that there could be a shortage of trees being imported into the UK, now if something similar to this came up again it could become difficult to fulfil the demand for real trees, which would lead to a massive increase in demand for artificial trees.

“It is still very early to predict whether we could be in a similar situation to what we were last year but the early signs don’t look too hopeful.

“Lockdowns around the world continue to have a knock-on impact on logistics here in the UK.

"We're in a fortunate position, we had already invested in new warehousing space this year so we can stock up well ahead of the demand, but we do expect to see a lot of supply disruption generally for retailers and customers this Christmas"

Top Tips on avoiding disappointment this Christmas:

Ben said: “With talk of shortages in the food and toys front, parents will want to ensure they avoid disappointment as we gear up for the festive period. Here are some top tips on making sure you steer clear of any disappointment this Christmas.”

1. Be Prepared.

Make sure you are aware of what needs to be bought and when and make a plan.

It is important that you are aware of the financial restraints that Christmas can bring and spreading out the payment will cause less of a monetary burden.

2. Buy early.

To many, it still feels way too early to talk about Christmas, but with rumoured food and toy shortages you can never be too prepared.

Get your necessities early, if you can get food and freeze it, even better.

Although with toys, you will have the difficulty of trying to hide them from your children.

3. Remember what is most important.

Last year we had the different Christmas of not being able to get together in a big group and make the most of the festivities.

This year, circumstances allowing, we are able to reunite and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year together again.

This is what is most important, celebrating with the nearest and dearest.”

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